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Thread: Second hand espresso machines.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Second hand espresso machines.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    This is a copy of most of Alan Frew's (Coffee for Connoisseurs Melbourne) Oct 2014 news letter, outlining his views on the pricing of second hand espresso machines, as usual he makes a lot of sense.


    October 2014 Newsletter

    One of the most common questions that I get asked these days is
    "What is this particular secondhand espresso machine worth?" The
    person asking is usually looking to either sell their existing
    machine or to buy one from someone else. Making things even more
    difficult is the huge range of devices and appliances that come
    under the description "Espresso Machine".

    Fortunately I've developed a sort of mental checklist that helps me
    whittle down the possibilities pretty quickly. I could wish for an
    espresso machine version of Glass's Guide, but no one has made one
    yet. What I always keep in mind is that it doesn't matter how much a
    machine originally cost, it's only worth what someone else is
    prepared to pay for it.

    The first question is "Is it a pod or capsule machine?" If it is,
    then somewhere between zero and $50.00 is the range. For example, my
    local Woolworths normally sells CaffeItaly pod machines for $110.00
    new, but every couple of months discounts the price to $49.00.
    Secondhand price should always be less than $49.00.

    Second question is "Is it a superautomatic machine? If so, where was
    it made?" Made in Italy or Switzerland machines can be worth up to
    $300.00 or so, made in China half that or less. A strong dose of
    "Buyer Beware" is indicated here, there's a good chance that the
    person buying a secondhand superauto is paying to inherit someone
    else's problem. Avoid "just serviced" machines, that's usually code
    for "will work for a week then break ... again."

    Then come machines with pumps and portafilters. Chinese mass
    produced thermoblock machines in perfect condition, no more than one
    third of full price when new. Ditto any machine with a pressurized
    portafilter. My advice is to always look up the "new" price before
    contemplating the secondhand one. Decent single boiler machines with
    proper brass portafilters and SS filter baskets may bring up to 60%
    of new price, depending on age and condition.

    The same rule more or less applies to single group HX or double
    boiler machines designed for domestic or light commercial use. You
    have to remember that there is no warranty on a secondhand machine,
    no matter how perfect its condition. As a rule of thumb, I knock
    another 5% off the price for each year of service, so a 5 year old
    machine that cost $2400.00 new would now be worth $1200.00 in
    perfect nick. Damage, scale, leaks or electrical problems would cut
    that by half or more.

    Finally, "proper" commercial machines, 2, 3 or 4 group, are valued
    strictly according to initial cost, age and condition. Any machine
    older than 5 years is basically worth only scrap value, because its
    total cost has been depreciated for tax purposes. They are rarely
    purchased for home use, because even a 2 group machine will require
    a 20A electrical line. 3 groups and up are usually 3-phase
    electrical connections, and water filtration and proper plumbing
    connections are essential. I tell people to avoid machines from
    Azkoyen, Brasilia and VFA Express because all 3 companies are
    defunct, making service and spares a difficult business.

    coffeechris and gonzo89 like this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    Amen to difficult parts for Azkoyen - priced a board for a 2 group Vienna (after calling 5 suppliers) $668.00. No steam valve rebuild kits. Owner looking at $1000.00 parts and labour to get it running again - but for how long?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprezzatura View Post
    No steam valve rebuild kits.
    You can still get brand new taps for them. And rebuilding the existing taps is no drama - they use Rancilio tap washers, and generic o-rings.
    sprezzatura likes this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganGT View Post
    You can still get brand new taps for them. And rebuilding the existing taps is no drama - they use Rancilio tap washers, and generic o-rings.
    Well, I did not know that - thank you! Any better deal on a board?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    This is a copy of most of Alan Frew's (Coffee for Connoisseurs Melbourne) Oct 2014 news letter, outlining his views on the pricing of second hand espresso machines, as usual he makes a lot of sense.

    SNIP

    October 2014 Newsletter
    Decent single boiler machines with
    proper brass portafilters and SS filter baskets may bring up to 60%
    of new price, depending on age and condition.

    The same rule more or less applies to single group HX or double
    boiler machines designed for domestic or light commercial use. You
    have to remember that there is no warranty on a secondhand machine,
    no matter how perfect its condition. As a rule of thumb, I knock
    another 5% off the price for each year of service, so a 5 year old
    machine that cost $2400.00 new would now be worth $1200.00 in
    perfect nick.

    I don't get his maths. If he knocks 60% off for being 2nd hand, then another 5% per every year of service (5 x 5%), that doesn't give a resale price of $1200 (50% of original cost of $2400). Even if his 5% depreciation is based on the written down value (rather than original cost) that doesn't work either.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprezzatura View Post
    Any better deal on a board?
    Not sure what a board goes for here, we did get some a little while ago, not sure if we can get them new anymore. We have a lot of scrap Azkoyen Viennas that have been picked over for boards as we need them, I think most of the secondhand working boards are gone now.
    We do a lot of work for a few franchise chains that have used Azkoyen Viennas and Brasilia Portofinos until recently, now that both those companies are defunct their 'required' equipment when replacing a machine or opening a new store is the SAB E96, so usually now when an Azkoyen gets to the stage of needing a new board it is considered time to ditch it and buy a new machine.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    This machine came out of a franchise. I believe the owner has decided to scrap it. I'll disassemble it for parts. Let me know if you might need anything off it (excepting the board). It's in sad shape - all the AV buttons work though. Thanks again!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprezzatura View Post
    This machine came out of a franchise. I believe the owner has decided to scrap it. I'll disassemble it for parts. Let me know if you might need anything off it (excepting the board). It's in sad shape - all the AV buttons work though. Thanks again!
    Pretty much off topic guys, perhaps better to start another thread or continue the discussion via PM.

  9. #9
    TOK
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    Re the topic.

    While the article is interesting per se, readers SHOULD NOT confuse the writer's opinion with what can happen in real life, or try to use the sentiments expressed, to value equipment carte blanche. Each individual piece of equipment is worth whatever its worth dopending on whatever compromise is reached between a vendor and a buyer, and can be heavily influenced by its individual condition or *what it is*.

    That is not to downgrade the worth of the article or Alan's professionalism or expertise which are all good.

    Additionally, in terms of *what it is* and relative value, readers should also try to discern between quality names and others. There are enough brands out there that have become well known, because of the numbers that were put into the market. Some brands that were sold into the market, went out in good numbers because they were cheap when compared to other better brand names. Over time, peopoe recognize the brands and think they are "good". Unfortunately for some, they are only "good" because they were cheap, and unless buyers are in the know, they wouldnt know what the cost of upkeep (where "cost" also includes values such as reliability, downtime etc) was for any particular brand or model in the commercial market.

    I see an aweful lot of commercial rubbish being passed on and bought by people that think they have done a big "deal", because they've picked up someonthing "commercial", when in fact from an insider pioint of view, they've bought a dog...and of course its not kosha to jump in and tell people that their pride and joy is actually a bottom end machine.

    So basically, buyer beware....I may be biased but Id rather see people buy good name semi commercial machines for their domestic use, than buy crazy obsolete commercial rubbish thatthey think will be worth something after they do it up.....(and never get their money back).
    Dimal, chokkidog and gonzo89 like this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    I don't get his maths. If he knocks 60% off for being 2nd hand, then another 5% per every year of service (5 x 5%), that doesn't give a resale price of $1200 (50% of original cost of $2400).
    Given that he's only knocking off 40% then 5%p.a (not 5 x 5%) gives a resale value of 1,114.25........

    but second hand prices are also relative to new prices and that 5 y.o. $2,400 machine would now be >$3000.

    So settling for $1500 wouldn't be out of the question??

    p.s. And TOK is right, there are many more factors, other than the maths, that determine the value of 2nd hand gear.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Cant disagree with the opinions of either TOK or Chokkidog, however given the fact that I have not previously seen the issue addressed in any detail I feel the piece written by Alan was a pretty fair foundation for a discussion.
    chokkidog, gonzo89 and TOK like this.

  12. #12
    TC
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    I think Alan and TOK are pretty much on the money.

    The only thing I'd add is that there are some prosumer brands which attract a premium and hold their value better than other brands do.

    Ultimately, it all comes down to what Joe Average is prepared to pay!

    Cheers

    Chris
    gonzo89 likes this.

  13. #13
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Absolutely, take Macap M4D's for instance and other more 'high-end' items/machines sold here on CS.

    They are priced accordingly and sell for what the market determines. Other less desirable items are advertised,

    price reduced once, twice or more and then sell for what the market determines... same same.

    Some bits 'n pieces have even been moved to e-bay where their true value is revealed...... by auction. ;-)
    gonzo89 likes this.

  14. #14
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Id rather see people buy good name semi commercial machines for their domestic use, than buy crazy obsolete commercial rubbish thatthey think will be worth something after they do it up.....(and never get their money back).
    I agree. Old commercial machines are not a 'bargain' for a domestic user unless they are buying them purely for the enjoyment of tinkering, without concern for return on investment. Factor in the extra costs of water supply and a dedicated power circuit for the machine (unless it's de-rated to 10 amps, which cripples it in terms of recovery time) and it's no bargain even if in perfect working order, which it is unlikely to be.
    And a commercial machine, bought when already old and then put to domestic use will have near zero saleability down the track if the owner tries to sell it back into the commercial market.
    We get a lot of old commercial machines brought to us that were bought off eBay by someone wanting it fixed up to use at home. After we quote a repair/rebuild, probably more than half of these are simply abandoned by the owners once they understand the reality of the cost of repair exceeding the value of the machine even after it is fixed, and they generally end up as a pile of scrap metal.
    TC and gonzo89 like this.



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